In a series filled with mushroom people, supposedly sentient brick blocks, and characters like Birdo, Waluigi stands out among the crowd as the Super Mario franchise’s strangest character. His debut appearance in Mario Tennis came pretty much out of nowhere with no discernible explanation and he’s been showing up in the spin-off games ever since.
Logic dictates that Waluigi is to Luigi what Wario is to Mario, and they’re paired up enough that this seems to be the case but Nintendo has never quite confirmed what exactly Waluigi’s relationship to the cast is. Miyamoto refuses to discuss him in-depth and nobody on the dev team mentions him unless prompted.
It’s natural that Waluigi has managed to garner a cult following of sorts over the years. His strange past and persona lead the way to perhaps the most theorycrafting the series has seen or will ever see. Fans cry out when he’s missing and muse when he’s present. His very existence puts into question every foundation Super Mario sits upon.
In a life where we are given so little time to think, feel, or act we must fill our days with meaning, and is there any greater meaning in life than discovering the truth about Waluigi? He is a man transcendent, clamoring for us to peer into his soul to discover who he truly is, and that’s exactly what we as a species should do.
15. Miyamoto Hates Waluigi
You’ve probably noticed by now that Waluigi has never been in a main Mario game. Wario hasn’t fared much better, but he at least got to be in Super Mario 64 DS. Waluigi, on the other hand, has been exiled to sports and party games until the end of time. Why could that be? Could it possibly be because the father of all Mario is jealous of a character he did not, and could not have, created?
It’s not unprecedented. In interviews Miyamoto has claimed that the reason Daisy and Wario, characters he had no hand in making, weren’t present in the main games was because they were “illustrated differently.” An evasive answer, but telling. So what happens when a character so popular, so charismatic, and so loved by fans accumulates a fanbase that Miyamoto didn’t have any part in making? He denies them the glory that he so rightfully deserves.
14. Waluigi And Wario Are Brothers
Nothing says brotherly love like wearing matching clothes and contrasting colors together on any given day. Just look at Mario and Luigi. Much like how Mario and Luigi make up the Mario Brothers, it’s not entirely unreasonable to assume that Wario and Waluigi are the Wario Brothers. Waluigi is, quite literally, the Luigi to Wario’s Mario.
If you’re a stickler for in-game evidence, Mario Party 5 straight up refers to them as the “Wicked Bros.” which fits in rather neatly with the Mario Bros. naming convention. If we also just go by how Mario and Luigi’s relationship is presented, and how Wario and Waluigi are meant to be “bad” versions of them, then the answer is as clear as day: Waluigi and Wario are brothers.
13. Waluigi And Wario Are Lovers
Or are they? Let’s think about this a bit more. While it makes sense that Waluigi and Wario would be brothers given their relationship to Mario and Luigi, wouldn’t it be more likely that they wouldn’t? They’re less “bad” counterparts to the Mario Brothers and more traditional counterparts, so it goes without saying that their relationship would be a bit different. Charles Martinet, longtime Mario voice actor, has also gone on record saying that Waluigi and Wario are not related.
Wario and Waluigi do everything together. When it comes to sports, they’re more than willing to tag team to come out on top. Their race courses in Mario Kart are aesthetically very similar, as if they both had the same designer (maybe the same one who modeled their home). Neither have shown explicit interest in women like Mario and Luigi have, and there’s really no reason to be so heteronormative in this day and age. When all’s said and done, Waluigi probably wants nothing more than to lay in his beloved Wario’s arms.
12. Waluigi Is Just Some Guy Who Showed Up One Day
Going in the “Waluigi isn’t related to Wario” direction, it’s entirely possible that Waluigi just showed up one day. Imagine you’re Waluigi for a moment. You’ve just gone to your favorite tennis court for the day and you notice that a plumber brought all of his friends to spend the day playing tennis. You really don’t want to go home, so you decide to just hang around playing tennis with whoever you can. Were you supposed to be there? No, but the party was so big nobody really noticed.
Wario’s also the kind of guy who would absolutely spend the day hanging out with some random guy who kind of looks like his cousin. Knowing what we know about Waluigi, as well, he clearly loves a good sports outing given that’s his only presence in the Mario franchise. The guy hears that some people are gathering for a kart race or a soccer match and he’s there before you can finish saying “wahh.”
11. Waluigi Makes His Own Clothes
The very notion of this theory wouldn’t exist if not for one key detail: Nintendo released high resolution renders of Waluigi’s clothes. As Tumblr user theweegeemister put it, “The Mario Bros. and Wario Bros. hats are made out of completely different materials. While the Mario and Luigi have the embroidered emblems with sewn on borders, Wario and Waluigi have these felt-like patches, and it appears to be glued on instead as there is no stitches and the fabric is slightly raised.”
On top of that, the fabric of Waluigi’s clothes is completely different from Mario or Luigi’s. His cap has a low quality look to it and he’s even placed the “L” patch upside down. As shoddy as his clothes are, there’s still a level of care present that really makes you appreciate the kind of man Waluigi is. With evidence straight from Nintendo, it’s hard to deny Waluigi’s tailor talents.
10. Waluigi Is A Man Of Success And Class
As Waluigi is meant to be Luigi’s opposite, that naturally means he’s almost definitely loaded and living the good life. Luigi has a terrible, haunted mansion filled with ghosts, so logic dictates that Waluigi has a wonderful, peaceful mansion filled with all his upper class wealthy friends. It would also explain why Waluigi never joins Wario on his moneymaking schemes; he has no time for such childish drivel.
The question remains, where did Waluigi make his money? Through sports, of course! Waluigi typically ranks among the most used characters in the Mario spin-offs for good reason: he’s top tier. Waluigi most likely had personal trainers to teach him not only how to play tennis, but also golf, baseball, soccer, and go-karting. He’s a modern Renaissance man, literally dripping in culture. We can only assume that those stylish, sexy, black overalls are pure, custom-made leather.
9. Waluigi’s Heart Is Full Of Lust
Super Mario is not an obscene series. Far from it, really. The franchise has been known for its family-friendly tone and inclusive attitude towards all walks of life. Characters are friendly, playful, and never crude: except for Waluigi in Super Mario Strikers. Taunts aren’t something new to the Mario sports titles, but Waluigi takes it one step further by showing the only moment of sexual acknowledgement perhaps in the entire franchise.
When Waluigi scores a goal in Super Mario Strikers, he’ll starts chanting “Waluigi, yeah, yeah, yeah” while crotch chopping at his opponent. This sexual gesture not only taunts his rivals, but also unleashes an otherworldly lust into the Mario universe. This franchise is no longer wholesome, all because Waluigi wants you to look at his dick.
8. Waluigi Is Driven By A Hatred Of Himself
In an interview with Kombo, Waluigi’s voice actor, Charles Martinet, said that “self-pity” was the “cornerstone of Waluigi’s character.” In a later interview with The Eurogamer TV Show, Martinet expanded by stating that, despite Waluigi’s villainous nature, he finds voicing him with a conceited and self-hating tone better exemplifies his character. In-universe, there are signs that give further weight to Martinet’s performance.
Nintendo of Europe’s Wario’s Warehouse, a series of articles that ran from 2001 to 2003 about Wario, show Wario treating Waluigi like an idiot goading him into making poor decisions, but Mario Tennis claims that Waluigi is the brains to Wario’s brawns. Why else would Waluigi allow Wario to make a fool of him if not for his incredibly low self esteem? We can only pray that one day Waluigi will learn to love himself the way we love him.
7. Waluigi Is Luigi From The Future
In a war torn Mushroom Kingdom, there is little the Mario Bros. can do to stop Bowser. They’ve fought him back as much as they can, but have made no progress. In a moment of desperation, Mario tells Luigi that he has to go back in time and stop whatever catalyst triggered their horrible future. Arriving in the past, Luigi realizes he cannot possibly introduce himself as “Luigi from the future,” so he adopts the moniker of Waluigi and fashions himself as Wario’s new, mysterious partner. Well, that’s probably how it went.
Without Waluigi, Bowser becomes the defacto antagonist of every one of Mario’s sport outings and the two never manage to build an amicable relationship. Waluigi’s presence eases the tension between the two and they’re able to settle their differences through a mutual love of go-karting and tennis. There’s also the fact that both Waluigi and Luigi are voiced by Charles Martinet, and Waluigi is described as the “exact same age” as Luigi, which he technically would be if they were born at the same time and he went to the past.
6. Waluigi Is A Party Crasher
Everyone but Wario seems entirely repulsed by Waluigi. He’s scary looking, probably smells bad, and is prone to making a scene wherever he goes. At times, he’s not even invited to Mario’s outings. The truth is, Waluigi probably isn’t invited to any of Mario’s parties, hence why he’s absent so often. In fact, the only reason he shows up is because he’s your typical party crasher.
WikiHow describes party crashers as “uninvited guests who may be disruptive to an event or party,” and disruptive Waluigi certainly is. In the Smash Bros. series, he appears in the form of an assist trophy whose role is literally to disrupt the other characters from attacking. If you don’t plug in your controller while playing Mario Tennis, you get a screen of Waluigi flying off with Luigi’s Nintendo 64 while poor Green Mario tries to catch him.
5. Waluigi Is Nabbit
Nabbit is one of Nintendo’s more bizarre characters. He was introduced in New Super Mario Bros. U as an antagonistic force of nature, and was later promoted to playable character role in New Super Luigi U. He’s appeared in spin-offs since then, but his role and character has never really been defined; probably because he already has a character through Waluigi. New Super Mario Bros. has always made a point of having assorted Toads accompany Mario and Luigi on their journey, and that wasn’t going to change now, so the dev team snuck in Waluigi the best way they could.
It’s Nabbit’s design that gives it away more than anything. Like Waluigi, his main color scheme is purple. Both utilize black as a secondary color scheme, and both have orange shoes with white gloves. Nabbit’s purpose in the series is to steal items from Mario and Waluigi is often characterized as a thief alongside Wario. Given Miyamoto’s hatred of Waluigi and the dev team’s apparent appreciation for him, it makes sense they’d want to sneak him in under Miyamoto’s nose.
4. Waluigi Is Slenderman
In a haunting Medium article by Grant Pardee, Pardee chronicles all the evidence he came across in a span of 75 hours that definitely proves Waluigi and Slenderman are one and the same being. His first piece of evidence is that “they are both tall and slender men,” which is an undeniable truth. His second finding is that “they are both creeps who love children’s games.” Whether or not Waluigi is a “creep” is debatable, but it is true he loves a good kid’s game.
His last piece of evidence, and perhaps most damning, is “why even is Waluigi?” where Pardee writes, “When you get right down to it, why is Waluigi? The accepted story is he’s the evil Luigi, but that just tells us what he is, not why he is. Waluigi is the nothing version of Luigi, and Luigi only exists as a double for Mario. That makes Waluigi the shadow of a shadow. He’s a double negative! Waluigi exists in spite of himself, in spite of all creation!!” We always knew Waluigi was more than a man, but to know he’s a slenderman changes the game entirely.
3. Waluigi Exists Only When He Is Needed
This directly follows Pardee’s point that “Waluigi is the nothing version of Luigi” and “the shadow of a shadow.” Waluigi exists because Luigi needed a counterpart, but as Luigi is already a counterpart to Mario, his counterpart can only exist in one specific scenario. When you take Luigi out of a scenario where he no longer needs an opposite then Waluigi ceases to exist, because his purpose is quite literally to be Luigi’s mirror.
Waluigi doesn’t appear outside of sports titles because Mario doesn’t want him around, he doesn’t appear because he literally cannot exist without his very specific purpose. At the end of the day, when all the tennis rackets and golf clubs are put away, Waluigi fades and only returns when Luigi is in need of his “shadow.” It’s a cruel fate, but it’s the only one Waluigi knows. He is a beast who exists “in spite of all creation.”
2. Waluigi Is The Good Rival
Waluigi is Luigi’s counterpart, he is the Wario to Luigi’s Mario. Waluigi’s Japanese name, Waruīji, is made up of the words “Warui” and “Ruīji,” meaning “bad” and “Luigi” respectively basically making his name “Bad Luigi.” To call him Luigi’s bad counterpart is a disservice to his character, though, since he’s more than likely Luigi’s good rival.
Mario, Luigi, and Wario have all been featured in games where they need to hurt enemies. Mario even killed Bowser in New Super Mario Bros. Luigi is characterized as a coward and a liar in the Paper Mario series, and Wario is consumed by greed. Waluigi, on the other hand, just wants to play sports with his friends. He doesn’t hurt people, he doesn’t enact violence on anyone, and he doesn’t steal or cheat. Even in Super Smash Bros. he refuses to fight, choosing to to swat his tennis racket around instead. While his name may be “Bad Luigi,” Waluigi is anything but.
1. Waluigi Is A Reflection Of Man
In Critical Perspectives on Waluigi, Franck Ribery wrote, “Waluigi is the ultimate example of the individual shaped by the signifier. Waluigi is a man seen only in mirror images; lost in a hall of mirrors he is a reflection of a reflection of a reflection.” He goes on to discuss Mario’s role as the origin who is reflected by Luigi and then inverted by Wario; “Then you reflect the inversion in the reflection: you create a being who can only exist in reference to others.”
It seems that Ribery is discussing how Waluigi exists only when needed as touched upon above, but he goes one further and concludes with how Waluigi is representative of humanity as a whole: “Waluigi’s identity only comes from what and who he isn’t – without a wider frame of reference he is nothing. He is not his own man. In a world where our identities are shaped by our warped relationships to brands and commerce we are all Waluigi.”
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